Beyond the Front Tables: Crossed Genres


Greetings and salutations fellow readers!

Before I jumped into chatting about the amazing Crossed Genres press, I wanted to welcome you to “Beyond the Front Tables,” a column dedicated to highlighting small and independent presses and some of the titles I have loved from these presses. But first, allow me to introduce myself…

My name is Shana and I am an extreme bibliophile. If there were a book event at the X Games I would be all over it! And, as a former Marine I do love some competition. Currently, I am pursuing my MA in English with a concentration in Literary Studies.  And I also work full-time at an insurance company, but it is utterly boring as I deal with numbers all day (…zzz). But enough about me, let us get back to why we are all here: BOOKS!

A few years ago I realized I was limiting my reading to what the bookstore put in front of me and I decided I wanted to change things. I started seeking out titles I hadn’t heard about a hundred times over. The joy of finding a new-to-me author is infectious and something I started sharing with friends and family. And now, Luna Station Quarterly is going to let me share my passion here as well!

Each column will feature a small or independent press, some information about what they publish, where you can find their books, etc. I will also share a title I personally enjoyed as well as what I plan on reading next from the press. As a note, every book I read is picked out and purchased by me and the endorsement of any title is a reflection of the enjoyment I had upon reading.

I look forward to having many chats about books with all of you, my amazing fellow readers, so without further delay… LET’S GET THIS PARTY STARTED!

Small Press: Crossed Genres

Crossed Genres is a small press I only recently discovered. The press focuses on “progressive speculative fiction” and is comprised of two branches, the Crossed Genres Magazine and Crossed Genres Publications. One of the many reasons I adore this press is their mission statement (from their website):

“It’s the mission of Crossed Genres Publications to give voice to people often ignored or marginalized in SFF, which has led us to publish titles focused on older women, overweight women, immigration, skilled laborers, QUILTBAG families, and people marginalized throughout history.”

That is a mission I can embrace and support with all my heart and purchasing power.

When I started subscribing to their monthly SF/F magazine (something you can do here) I had not been aware of the book publishing side of the press. I fell in love with the stories in the magazine from the first issue I read. Then, when I was putting the book Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History on my shelf, I noticed “Crossed Genres” on the spine and boom! one of my “light bulb” moments.

Title I read and loved: Ink by Sabrina Vourvoulias

Format: e-book

Length: 236 pages

Book description (from the book’s website): “The near-future, dark speculative novel INK opens as a biometric tattoo is approved for use to mark temporary workers, permanent residents and citizens with recent immigration history – collectively known as inks.”

This is a gut-punch of a book. The short length does mean things move quickly and for me that made it all the more powerful of a read. Seeing how quickly society allowed a system of institutionalized population control to become the status quo was alarming. And yet, I could see how it could happen even today, which was even more alarming.

A book that makes you think, sticks with you long after reading, and is one of the first things you want to recommend to people is a book full of win. Seriously, go read this book, right now, go!

Title I am looking forward to next: MENIAL: Skilled Labor in Science Fiction edited by Kelly Jennings and Shay Darrach

Format: Patiently waiting in my kindle app

Length: 150 pages / 17 stories

Book description (from the publisher website): “Miner. Harvester. Mechanic. Sanitation Worker. These are not the typical career of your average science fiction protagonist. Until now.”

I am so excited to read this book. You always read about the exciting hero, the mysterious traveler, or the amazing warrior rushing into battle, but what about the people that make those worlds go round? Here is a collection that focuses on those often ignored group of people, in literature and our own society.

Another reason I am particularly anxious to dig into this collection is because many of the authors are new-to-me and I will be reading them for the first time. That is one of the reasons I love anthologies; they offer the opportunity to discover some wonderful new voices. I hope you will join me in reading this collection!

Happy reading and until next time, remember to read Beyond the Front Tables!